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Walmart in Talks With Birchbox, Kylie Jenner Is Killing It, and More on That Google Memo

August 10, 2017, 11:52 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Kylie Jenner says her makeup line is on pace to become a $1 billion business, Birchbox has reportedly talked to Walmart about a sale, and fighting for paid leave has a cost—even when you win. Have a glorious Thursday.


 The cost of victory. The Broadsheet has repeatedly covered the need for better policies to support working moms—and the stark costs of skimping on such policies. (And we will continue to do so until such coverage is no longer needed.) But this New Republic story reveals a facet of the issue that has remained little examined: the toll that pushing for family-friendly benefits can take on women—even when they succeed.

The story cites a group of five senior women at The New York Times who spent months preparing a proposal that made the case for a better family leave policy. Ultimately, they achieved their goal, with the paper extending its leave policy from 11.1 weeks to 16-18 weeks for birth mothers, as well as 10 weeks for adoptive parents, fathers, and partners.

But the project took a year, including hours of research and preparation that had to be slotted in between their professional and family responsibilities. That's a lot of unpaid work. What's more, these women were in a position to make that sacrifice to achieve a longterm gain for themselves and others—something few lower-wage workers have the freedom to consider.

So, while some might be tempted to hold the NYT staffers' achievement up as a model—and perhaps even an argument for why the U.S. doesn't actually need a federal paid leave policy—let's not overlook the hidden costs that underlie their victory. New Republic


Birchbox thinks big box. Recode is reporting that Birchbox, led by CEO Katia Beauchamp, has been discussing a potential sale with several retailers. Among those would-be buyers is Walmart, which has been on something of an acquisition tear lately, snapping up digital-first retailers such as Bonobos and ModCloth.  Fortune

 Bolling fights back. Eric Bolling, the suspended Fox News host, initiated a $50 million defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against the author of a HuffPost report that said Bolling had sent lewd photographs to three female colleagues. The suit called the anonymously sourced piece "false" and "defamatory." The reporter, Yashar Ali, is standing by his story. New York Times

 Feinstein's family. In this Fortune op-ed, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein argues against the RAISE Act, the Republican immigration bill unveiled last week. She notes that her own family would not have met the bill's criteria to enter the U.S.—and neither would President Trump's. Fortune

 Looking like a billion bucks. Kylie Jenner told WWD (and reportedly provided documentation to prove) that her makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics, has racked up $420 million in retail sales in an 18-month period. That puts the company on track to hit $1 billion by 2022. WWD

 HR headache. Rachel Bitte, chief people officer at Jobvite, examines Google's decision to fire the writer of the infamous anti-diversity memo. She writes that, in acting so quickly, the company missed an opportunity to learn more about why the incident occurred, what role Google itself played in creating the situation, and perhaps most importantly, how it can help prevent something similar from happening again.  Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: The United Nations has named Alison Smale, a veteran correspondent and editor at The New York Times, as its next under secretary general for global communications.


 Madame governor? Former State Department official Krish Vignarajah has officially announced that she plans to run for governor of Maryland. She's the first woman to enter the crowded field, though policy consultant Maya Rockeymoore Cummings has said she’s exploring a run. Baltimore Sun

 Podding an end to sexual harassment. In this podcast, engineer and startup founder Niniane Wang and diversity consultant Joelle Emerson talk to Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Lauren Goode about what triggers sexual harassment in tech.  Recode

 A tough road. Bloomberg examines the many woes of the rental car industry and looks at new(ish) Hertz CEO Kathryn Marinello's efforts to turn her company around. Bloomberg

 Modern family? Afton Vechery, a former product manager at genetic testing company 23AndMe, and ex-UberHEALTH exec Carly Leahy have launched Modern Fertility, a women's health company that offers $149 at-home fertility testing kits.  Forbes

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Here’s what we know so far about the author of that Google memo  Fortune

Rachel Cusk gut renovates the novel  The New Yorker

Kesha, even with a liberated new album, remains tied to Dr. Luke  New York Times

How Cindy Sherman's Instagram selfies are changing the face of photography  The Guardian


People respond to what’s tolerated and what’s encouraged. And I think a great leader can change the culture of I think almost any company in almost any situation.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg